Sunday, April 19, 2009

Exhibition of art from the Kitchen Garden

1. Kitchen Garden art at the London International Gallery of Children's Art
From now until 14th June we are very excited to announce that artworks created by the children of Chiswick are on display at this prestigious gallery in Waterlow Park in Highgate. The whole show is made up of artwork from the Kitchen Garden. Congratulations to all the children whose work has been selected for display.

The arts programme is run by the wonderful Sue Dance and is an integral part of our schools’ sessions. The children are encouraged to use a variety of art materials (including oil pastels, mosaic, clay and collage) and to observe form, texture and colour to creatively express their experiences at the Gardens. In particular, they focus on reflecting how the changes of seasons are conveyed through the colours, shapes and patterns of plants.

The result is a vibrant and stunning exhibition and you are strongly recommended to visit. The gallery is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Check the gallery website for more details on The image above, tulip and hyacinth, is by year 1 at Falcons School.

2. Waitrose charity of the month
Of course we would mainly encourage you to grow your own veg, but for anything else you need this month, you may be popping in to Waitrose on Chiswick High Road. Many thanks to whoever nominated us, and please make sure you get your green token and pop it into our case. At the end of the month the tokens are weighed and we get a donation in proportion to the number of tokens.

3. The Family Kitchen Garden book
Three of us Kitchen Gardeners have written The Family Kitchen Garden, published this May. You can pre-order through this website (see icon on the home page, bottom left) thereby giving a percentage to the Kitchen Garden project. The order fulfilment is carried out by Amazon.

Progress in the Kitchen Garden

With the trees all gone from the northern and southern walled gardens (apart from an oak and a mulberry), the path is edging its way round the perimeter and down the central axis. The builders have tiptoed their way past the herbal maze – amazing that one can tiptoe with a digger, but they are managing it (thank you UPM Tilhill). One quarter of the southern garden (an ex-forested bit) has been rolled flat and grass seed sown. In the northern garden the topsoil has been stripped off and a layer of soil substitute with plastic filaments has been laid. We hope this will turn into an orchard once the fruit tree saplings are planted, though it does look rather bare and sterile at the moment. Meanwhile we are still gardening in twos, passing the baton (ie. the safety helmets and hi-viz jackets) at the entrance so there are never more than two of us in the garden at once, which would constitute a safety hazard. You’ll have to take our word for it this year, but the cutting bed tulips look good… Three weeks ago we were finally allowed back into the greenhouse, after an absence of nearly a year, and madly sowed this year’s seed to catch up… However, some helpful souls came round and smashed the glass last weekend, so we are once more evicted on health and safety grounds. Good thing the park is protected with fencing and security guards. Anyone with spare greenhouse space, and the time to look after seedlings for us until they go out, please let us know.